Working safely with livestock equipment

Work with cattle is one of the most common causes of death on British farms.  Never underestimate the risk from cattle, even with good precautions in place. Where possible, people and cattle should be kept apart.

Equipment should be regularly maintained, arranged and used so that people and cattle are kept apart as much as possible. You should:

  • Carry out stock tasks on restrained animals using good handling facilities.
  • Ensure that all handling equipment, gates and railings are well maintained and in good working order.
  • Have good calving facilities in place including calving pens, calving gates and equipment such as calving jacks. Separate the calf and / or secure the cow before carrying out any tasks.
  • Check the race and crush meet the requirements set out in Handling and housing cattle AIS35
  • Never enter a race or crush containing livestock.
  • Where there is no other option but to tend to animals while they are loose in pens, and it is not possible to secure them, make sure that you have adequate escape routes. When considering escape routes, think: Under, Over, Behind or Through.
  • Have someone else working with you where possible.
  • When carrying out field work, ensure that good mobile handling facilities are used, have a refuge such as a vehicle nearby, and have sufficient persons to enable safe handling.